AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.  (Read 7396 times)

thenetwork

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2039
  • Age: 2013
  • Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 10:13:59 AM
I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« on: February 16, 2016, 08:31:01 PM »

It is the beginning of Thaw Season in Western Colorado, and unfortunately if it isn't snow avalanches, it's falling rocks -- a lot of them!

Over the last few days, I-70 in Glenwood Canyon has had a couple of rockslides over multiple days,  Sunday's rockfall was able to be cleared quickly.  Last night's rockfall, however, has forced the closing of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon until possibly Thursday. 

Detours around the mess are via either US-40 to the north or US-50 to the south.  Either way, these are 100+ mile detours and will add 2-3 hours for anyone traveling between Glenwood Springs and Denver.

The latest CDOT updates via their facebook page are here:  https://www.facebook.com/coloradodot/


I-70 will remain closed until mid to late Thursday in Glenwood Canyon following a large rockfall incident. CDOT crews and contracted rockfall workers will continue rock scaling at the location in an attempt to bring down any additional debris. As a safety precaution, crews will also install rockfall mitigation fence on the westbound lanes. On Thursday, a pilot car operation--directing single-lane, alternating traffic--will be implemented and traffic will be routed to the eastbound lanes. The pilot car operation could be in place for several days while early repairs and additional rock stabilization are completed. As repairs progress, we will open one lane in each direction. It could be several weeks before the damage to the roadway walls and roadway are repaired and the interstate is fully open. Check www.cotrip.org for updates and alternate route.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 04:54:49 PM by thenetwork »
Logged

triplemultiplex

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1790
  • "You read it; you can't unread it!"

  • Location: inside the beltline
  • Last Login: November 16, 2017, 05:19:02 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2016, 10:14:29 PM »


Holy crap!  Can someone get that trucker a new pair of pants?!
Logged
"That's just like... your opinion, man."

The Ghostbuster

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1704
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Madison, WI
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 04:35:14 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2016, 03:26:48 PM »

Wasn't this the very last portion of Interstate 70 to be completed in 1992? Oh, and was any portion of the Interstate damaged by the rockslide?
Logged

Pete from Boston

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5200
  • Location: Massachusetts, and all the roads radiating out of it
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 02:43:16 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2016, 04:19:03 PM »

Was anyone hurt?
Logged

thenetwork

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2039
  • Age: 2013
  • Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 10:13:59 AM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2016, 04:44:59 PM »

Was anyone hurt?


As the rockslides occured later in the evening and on a weeknight, nobody was hurt.  There was only one truck driver who was shaken up as the boulders smashed up his trailer.

Here is the latest from the local paper there:  http://www.postindependent.com/news/20662357-113/i-70-through-canyon-closed-till-thursday
Logged

Jardine

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 660
  • Location: Midwest
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 10:28:18 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2016, 07:16:44 PM »

It's called the angle of repose.


 :wow:


I bet that trucker relied on his Depends . . .
Logged

kwellada

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 8
  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Last Login: May 08, 2017, 08:51:18 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2016, 08:13:52 PM »

Back in 2004 (I think) around Thanksgiving I was on my way from Denver to Grand Junction for Thanksgiving dinner.  I got to Silverthorne, got some gas and coffee, and went inside the store to discover that a rockslide had closed I-70 relatively close to the same spot, thus causing the massive detour north through Steamboat Springs and Craig.  A woman at the counter was pretty much telling the clerk he specifically just ruined Thanksgiving because of the closure.

I'm fairly sure he was not the cause of it.

Traffic was rather heaving on the detour route, which is almost all 2 lane highways.  It took about 4 hours to traverse and rather than be upset, I just figured, "well, not much we can do about this".  My mom was kind enough to hold off on when dinner was served.

Logged

ysuindy

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 128
  • Last Login: November 14, 2017, 02:42:40 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2016, 01:56:04 PM »

Video with this story shows the damage, including several holes in bridge decks

http://www.postindependent.com/news/20692002-113/lot-of-work-needed-to-reopen-glenwood-canyon

Plan is to open one eastbound lane (worst damage is in westbound lanes) with a pilot car to guide traffic through a six mile stretch.
Logged

thenetwork

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2039
  • Age: 2013
  • Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 10:13:59 AM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2016, 03:33:45 PM »

 One of the funny things is that despite a handful of BGSs which say that CO-82 is closed over Independence Pass and over a dozen VMS signs saying that there is No Outlet from CO-82 to the east, there are still dozens of people (trucks included) that have driven all the way to Aspen and up to the locked gate across CO-82 only to find it closed.

Too many people relying on GPS to be the traveler's bible.

The latest now is that I-70 will now be "likely" be closed thru the weekend.  When they do get it minimally open, you will still have 1+ hour delays while waiting in the queues for the escort vehicles.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 04:22:45 PM by thenetwork »
Logged

triplemultiplex

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1790
  • "You read it; you can't unread it!"

  • Location: inside the beltline
  • Last Login: November 16, 2017, 05:19:02 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2016, 05:14:07 PM »

Helloooooo down there!
Logged
"That's just like... your opinion, man."

thenetwork

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2039
  • Age: 2013
  • Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 10:13:59 AM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2016, 12:17:29 AM »

As of Sunday Evening 2/21, CDOT has opened up one lane on the eastbound side of I-70 thru Glenwood Canyon on a limited basis:

  Traffic will alternate on a single eastbound lane via a pilot vehicle escort between the "staging areas" on each end of the one-lane area.

  The pilot vehicle escort through the canyon will only be in use from roughly 4PM - 9AM daily until further notice.  Drivers should expect delays of around an hour while waiting to be escorted through the canyon -- still a much better alternative than going 100+ miles and 4 hours out of the way on the "daytime" alternate routes.

  From roughly 9AM until 4PM, I-70 in Glenwood Canyon will be closed to ALL thru traffic until further notice so that workers can continue rockslide mitigation, highway repairs and rockslide prevention fencing through the affected areas during daylight hours.  During the workday, traffic will still need to seek the alternate routes of either US-40 or US-50 to detour around the closing. 

« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 02:23:16 PM by thenetwork »
Logged

The High Plains Traveler

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1097
  • Age: Just an old prairie dog

  • Location: Pueblo West CO
  • Last Login: October 03, 2017, 07:30:21 PM
    • Unofficial Minnesota and New Mexico Highway Pages
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2016, 11:30:15 AM »

Tuesday, February 23: Update on the closure as well as the impact on a main detour, U.S. 50 over Monarch Pass.

http://www.chieftain.com/news/4471350-120/closed-department-state-closure

State Patrol hasn't seen a significant increase in traffic over Monarch, or at least it's no more than a typical Spring increase in traffic. I guess if I was coming cross-country, heading for southern Utah, I'd use U.S. 285 out of Denver and U.S. 50 to Grand Junction, rather than taking that additional 140-mile loop. One problem is that Monarch can be closed during winter weather or for avalanche mitigation as well.
Logged
"Tongue-tied and twisted; just an earth-bound misfit, I."

thenetwork

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2039
  • Age: 2013
  • Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 10:13:59 AM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2016, 04:43:16 PM »

As of last night (2/25), CDOT has reported that there has been enough progress in which I-70 will now be partially open 24/7.

Both eastbound lanes have been cleared and repaired where necessary.  As a result, there is now 2-way traffic on the eastbound lanes.  However, traffic is still being guided in both directions by pilot car escorts while work continues on the (upper) westbound lanes.

Thru traffic in Glenwood Canyon can still expect delays ranging of 1+ hours as a limited amount of vehicles may follow the pilot vehicles thru the canyon.  Local reports state that there have been delays of up to 4 hours at times with no mention of these unusual situations on CDOT's cotrip.org website or on VMS signs. 

The westbound lane closures and the traffic escorts will remain in place until further notice.
Logged

vdeane

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 8415
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Latham, NY
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 07:53:08 PM
    • New York State Roads
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2016, 12:03:23 AM »

Is there a reason why they need pilot car escorts?  I don't think I've ever heard of them being used before for anything other than an oversize load.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

thenetwork

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2039
  • Age: 2013
  • Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 10:13:59 AM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2016, 01:47:35 AM »

Is there a reason why they need pilot car escorts?  I don't think I've ever heard of them being used before for anything other than an oversize load.

Since they are still doing rockslide mitigation on the upper westbound lanes and repair on those long bridges that are those same westbound lanes, they are using the pilot car escorts to a) limit the number of vehicles passing through the affected area at any one time, b) stop cars at a moment's notice if the eastbound 2-way lanes may need to be stopped and c) keep traffic moving at speeds deemed safe in the affected area.

Consider it a compromise.  I'd much rather have to wait for an escort through Glenwood Canyon and only add an hour more for the trip between Glenwood and Silverthorne than to have no option but to take a 150 mile detour north or south of the closure and have to add 3 more hours to my travel time.

BTW, I just heard another major cross-country freeway fell victim to a major slide -- this time it is I-75 near the KY/TN border (http://www.wtol.com/story/31332773/web-update-interstate-75-shut-down-in-tennessee?clienttype=generic&mobilecgbypass).  At least the detours there are not that far out of the way nor as time consuming.
Logged

vdeane

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 8415
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Latham, NY
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 07:53:08 PM
    • New York State Roads
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2016, 08:26:31 PM »

They can't keep the work for clearing the WB lanes out of the EB lanes?  I don't know about Colorado, but around here we have something called "drivers first" that states that if we can spend more money to get traffic through faster, we are legally required to do so.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

r-dub

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 58
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Colorado Springs, CO
  • Last Login: October 19, 2017, 05:01:45 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2016, 02:00:46 AM »

vdeane, With Glenwood Canyon, it's not quite that easy. Especially where the slide took place. Take a look here:


(Screenshot of https://goo.gl/maps/LfsnT22s9eA2)

The WB lanes come pretty close to overlapping the EB inside shoulder. Pics further upstream in this thread show the hole punched in the WB deck and the EB lane visible below. The rocks crews are knocking down *should* play nice and stay near the WB outside shoulder now, but can you imagine what would happen if one of those boulders breaks free and lands on top of an unsuspecting motorist?

I don't know about a drivers first rule CDOT follows (god knows I've seen plenty of times where that rule isn't followed out here... :-/ ), but I think the pilot car is there simply for a "what if?" moment.
Logged
Ryan "r-dub"
Roadgeekin' Colorado Style

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3011
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 08:10:14 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2016, 08:24:38 AM »

I drove through there when that last section of I-70 was being built -- it was still two lanes.  Saw the tunnels being bored and whatnot. 

Anyway, the terrain constraints are incredible and it's nothing short of an engineering miracle that they were able to get an interstate through there.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

pumpkineater2

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 274
  • Jamie O' Neal lied. It does exist.

  • Age: 19
  • Location: Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 08:11:15 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2016, 04:09:16 PM »

I found an interesting video of the rockslide in 2004. It appears to have left a much bigger hole in the deck than the current slide.
Logged
Come ride with me to the distant shore...

thenetwork

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2039
  • Age: 2013
  • Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 10:13:59 AM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2016, 02:58:59 PM »

CDOT now reports that one lane has been opened on the westbound/upper deck of I-70 through the Glenwood Canyon slide area.

http://kdvr.com/2016/03/10/one-lane-of-both-decks-of-i-70-in-glenwood-canyon-reopens-after-rock-slide/#

One lane traffic remains on Eastbound I-70 through the affected area, which will be posted at 35 MPH until further notice. Pilot car escorts have been eliminated as well.
Logged

Duke87

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4783
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Queens, NY
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 10:18:47 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2016, 11:04:56 PM »

Is there a reason why they need pilot car escorts?  I don't think I've ever heard of them being used before for anything other than an oversize load.

Pilot cars are quite typical in work zones with long segments of alternating one way traffic. In such cases it's easier to have an official car drive back and forth saying "follow me" than to station people all along the route keeping drivers on the correct part of the road.

Of course such a means of doing things is uncommon in NY because it's inconsistent with "drivers first" to have such long one lane segments. It's also more common in the western part of the country where traffic counts are lower and making people wait potentially up to 15 minutes before they can proceed through the work zone won't create unmanageably long queues.
Logged
If you always take the same road, you will never see anything new.

vdeane

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 8415
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Latham, NY
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 07:53:08 PM
    • New York State Roads
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2016, 01:18:10 PM »

Ah.  Yeah, I don't think I've ever even heard of them being used before this thread.  One would think that cones would be enough, but I know from one person's story here (he was working on the Taconic and a person knocked down a cone to get into the closed lane and then honked at him because he was in her way).

It appears that the pilot cars have something to do with putting both directions on the same carriageway, which seems odd, as around here we usually just slap some cones and/or a jersey barrier down.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

thenetwork

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2039
  • Age: 2013
  • Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 10:13:59 AM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2016, 02:03:16 AM »

Ah.  Yeah, I don't think I've ever even heard of them being used before this thread.  One would think that cones would be enough, but I know from one person's story here (he was working on the Taconic and a person knocked down a cone to get into the closed lane and then honked at him because he was in her way).

It appears that the pilot cars have something to do with putting both directions on the same carriageway, which seems odd, as around here we usually just slap some cones and/or a jersey barrier down.

Usually, when there is construction in Glenwood Canyon (like last year) and all traffic has to share the upper (westbound) or lower (eastbound) lanes in a 2-way operation, they will install more-durable plastic "stick" cones that are glued to the pavement along the center line thru the entire 2-way zone.

My guess why they used pilot cars this time around was to limit the extra time needed to install and remove the center cones before the road could be made into a 2-way flow or back into normal one-way operations. 
Logged

paulthemapguy

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2219
  • Beeeeees?

  • Age: 28
  • Location: Illinois
  • Last Login: November 17, 2017, 12:32:49 PM
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2016, 10:21:23 AM »

Ah.  Yeah, I don't think I've ever even heard of them being used before this thread.  One would think that cones would be enough, but I know from one person's story here (he was working on the Taconic and a person knocked down a cone to get into the closed lane and then honked at him because he was in her way).

It appears that the pilot cars have something to do with putting both directions on the same carriageway, which seems odd, as around here we usually just slap some cones and/or a jersey barrier down.

If I was working in and around that area of Colorado, I would WANT the job driving a pilot car leading motorists down I-70.  What's that?  You want me to work on the most beautiful stretch of Interstate highway in the USA?  Sign me up!  You wouldn't see people in NY/NJ WANTING to sign up to do that voluntarily lol
Logged
My life is a collect-a-thon. Like Banjo Kazooie but IRL.
Avatar is the last significant highway I clinched.

My goal:  A shield photo for every Interstate and US Hwy, plus three state hwys from each state!
Shield collection: https://flic.kr/s/aHskHbf8zR
Originals: https://flic.kr/s/aHskFU42pF

andy3175

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1223
  • Location: San Diego, California, USA
  • Last Login: Today at 02:38:23 AM
    • AARoads
Re: I-70 Glenwood Springs CLOSED -- Massive Rockslide.
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2016, 03:11:51 PM »

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent investigated closures to Interstate 70 west of Denver (between 2012 and 2015, a four-year period) and noted multiple closures due to rockslides, snow, fires, and even rather mundane items such as sun glare and livestock on the freeway. The link has a pretty good analysis of the typical closures and some of the steps taken or proposed to mitigate the closure periods:

http://gazette.com/snow-fire-rocks-i-70-closes-every-2.4-days-west-of-denver/article/1577078

Quote
I-70 was closed 280 times in one direction or the other between Vail and the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnel from Jan. 1, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2015. During the four years, that was 47 percent of the closures, which happened an average of every 2.4 days.

To reduce closures, CDOT is employing new technology to monitor weather and road conditions in real time, enabling it to deploy snow removal equipment and order precautionary closures when weather turns bad quickly.

Among the findings of the Post Independent's data analysis:

- Nearly 600 incidents closed I-70 in at least one direction for a total of 1,076 hours, 32 minutes. Nearly 12 percent of that time, 125 hours, the freeway was closed completely.

- Vail Pass was the No. 1 location, with 91 incidents accounting for 123 hours closed.

- Glenwood Canyon was next, with 43 incidents and 92.5 hours of closure. Glenwood Springs was listed as the closure location for an additional 10 incidents totaling 22.5 hours, which was 10th on the list.

- Rounding out the top five closure locations were the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnel, 68 closures and 92 hours, 7 minutes; Silverthorne, 43 closures and 87 hours, 25 minutes; and the Vail area, with 48 closures lasting a total of 86 hours.

- Georgetown was the top spot in the east, coming in sixth with 28 incidents and a total of 41 hours, 15 minutes closed.

- The stretch of I-70 from the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnel to Denver accounted for 22 percent of the closure time, while the tunnel itself was listed as the closure location for 11 percent of the incidents and 8.4 percent of the hours closed.

- The longest stretch without a closure over the four years was 25 days, Aug. 1-26, 2014. Then the road had closures five of the next six days.

- I-70 experienced closures in each of the 48 months examined.

- The longest shutdown was nearly 13 hours at Palisade because of a wildfire in June 2012.

- That closure was before Glenwood Canyon was closed for almost a week in February, but rockslides and rockfall mitigation accounted for surprisingly little of the closure time, 38 incidents totaling 48 hours, 30 minutes for 2012-15.

- Vehicle fires accounted for 29 closures totaling 35 hours, 21 minutes.

- Floyd Hill eastbound is a hazardous spot at about 8:30 on January mornings. Sun glare caused an accident that closed I-70's eastbound lanes in January 2015, and as a precaution for 48 minutes in January 2014.

- Livestock got on the freeway at the Lookout Mountain exit last November, closing the eastbound lanes for half an hour.
Logged
Regards,
Andy

www.aaroads.com

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.